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18 Types of Blog Content to Help Drive More Traffic to Your Site

If you’re looking to grow your site’s audience, there are more ways to go about it than simply continuing to publish the same old types of blog articles one after another. Indeed, by limiting yourself to only one kind of content, you could well be missing out on various new and interesting ways of growing your business.

There are various different types of content you can use to help ramp up your site’s traffic. Here’s just a few of the reasons why you might like to consider trying some new avenues:

  • Increased visitor engagement – Different people prefer different types of content. Catering to all kinds of tastes ups your chances of turning visitors into fans and regulars.
  • Additional traffic sources – Spreading your content across a wide range of media allows you to be found through additional channels such as YouTube, iTunes, and other high-traffic sources.
  • Improved SEO – Guess what, Google loves quality content. Showing them that your site offers more than writing is a positive signal for the search giant.

If you’re looking to grow your business, maybe it’s time to try mixing things up a little. Below, I’ve put together a list of over 18 different content types to add more variety to your site and help open up those additional traffic channels.

See what fits your brand and what works for you. However, keep an open mind and be ready for some experiments!

1. How-To Content and Tutorials

The “How-To X” post is a classic in the content world, and for good reason. One of the major motivations for people to use the Internet is to find solutions to their problems. If you can provide such a solution, that’s a golden content opportunity.

How to Do It Right

As a first step, you need to identify a problem that your audience has. Optimally, it’s something common within your industry and that a lot of people struggle with. The more people you can help, the better.

Once you’ve found an issue, offer a step-by-step guide on how to solve it. Be as thorough as you can be and provide clear steps. The more complete your solution, the more worthy of sharing it is. Check out Blog Tyrant’s 9000 word-strong Ultimate Guide on How to Start a Blog as an example.

Bonus Tip

  • When possible, supplement your guide with images, videos, graphics and various other types of visual media.

2. Podcasts

Podcasting is all the rage these days. Big names in the blogosphere like Tim Ferris now provide much of their content as audio instead of text.

It’s not because it’s a fad, either — podcasts are really great as far as content value goes. Podcasts are relatively easy to produce, and the technology is readily available. It’s also a very personal way of conveying information, which builds a stronger bond with your audience. Plus, people love to listen to this stuff everywhere they go, from the gym to their commute.

How to Do It Right

In terms of getting started, you don’t need too much. A decent microphone and recording software (such as Audacity) will get you over the first hump.

Of course, there’s more to it than just that. To really dive deep into it, Pat Flynn’s guide on how to start a podcast is still one of the best and most complete resources.

What’s more, if you might be planning on submitting your podcast to iTunes, you should familiarize yourself with the iTunes submission guidelines.

Finally, don’t let the podcast stand on its own. Make a splash on your website about it. Let people know about new episodes and invite a discussion.

Bonus Tip

  • You can use SoundCloud auto-embeds to easily publish episodes on your WordPress blog.
  • Consider adding a transcript of entire episodes or their main themes, like Moz do with their Whiteboard Friday video series. This also gives you the power of added SEO value!

3. News and Curated Content

Newsflash: You don’t have to create all content yourself. Sometimes it can be enough to be the person who collects the important stuff in one place for everyone else. Being a hub of interesting and noteworthy news in your industry goes a long way towards establishing trust and authority.

How to Do It Right

Quality before quantity is the rule here. To position yourself as a thought leader in your field, make sure you only share high-value, super-useful stuff. The format and whether you publish on a daily basis, or make a weekly update depends on you, your niche, and the available content.

Bonus Tip

  • One website that does news curating exceedingly well is SearchEngine Journal. It’s a wonderful place to get your latest fix on SEO, online marketing, social media and more.

4. Infographics

As the name suggests, infographics deliver information visually. They’re among the most effective types of blog content out there. We as humans are hardwired to love them — check out this interactive infographic to find out why.

How to Do It Right

Infographics are an awesome vehicle to communicate data, research, stats, and any other numerical information in a compelling manner. However, creating awesome, shareworthy infographics takes effort. Both the information contained and the delivery need to be top-notch.

That also means that unless you’re a Photoshop whiz yourself, you’re going to need a graphic designer. If you don’t have one waiting in the wings, you can try sites like Guru.com or eLance. For those on a budget, there’s Visual.ly.

Bonus Tip

  • If creating your own infographic isn’t an option for you, don’t despair. You can still benefit from this type of content by sharing already existing ones. A Google search for “[your topic] + infographic” should turn up something quickly. Many of them are ready to be embedded, and with a paragraph or two you’re good to go.<

5. Original Research And Data

While we’re on the topic of data and stats, if you can do your own research and present it to your audience, that’s even better! Digging up golden nuggets of information that nobody else has is a sure sign of authority.

How to Do It Right

The bad news is that you’ll actually have to make the effort to produce useful data. However, the payoff is totally worth it. Look at CoSchedule’s findings from analyzing one million headlines. Now, that’s an article worth sharing!

Yet, don’t panic if you lack these kinds of resources. One way to approach this kind of content is to summarize the findings of others. Authority Nutrition does this very well.

It can also be enough if you provide data derived from your own experiences. For example, case studies (see further below on this list) also count as research. As long as you provide concrete numbers and tangible results, it’s worth sharing.

Bonus Tip

  • Research can also be combined with other types of blog content on this list. For example, providing the same data the form of an infographic is a powerful way to make it even more effective.

6. Lists

Humans love lists almost as much as they love infographics. Lists promise a measurable return of investment and present a host of information in an easily digestible form. It’s hard not to click on a list headline — this article is proof. That’s why this type of post is a classic in the content marketer’s toolbox.

How to Do It Right

List posts follow a simple format: Introduce the problem, list your solutions, offer a conclusion. So far so good. However, in order to provide big value with your list content, try to make it as detailed as possible. Explore all possible options. Do I care about your “3 Good Headline Formats”? I doubt it. But wait, if you promise me “36 Outrageous Headlines You Can’t Help But Click”? I’m all ears.

In the same vein, don’t just list things without any comment. Discuss and justify each point, even if it’s only briefly. It’ll provide additional value for your audience.

Bonus Tip

  • If you’re going for a “Top X” list, it’s a good idea to pick an even number like 10, 50 or 100. You can read more about the “Top-10 Effect” here.

7. Link And Tool Collections

Collections of links and tools are a very particular kind list post that merits some extra attention. If done right, they represent an awesome resource others will be happy to share and link to.

How to Do It Right

The same rules apply for link collections as for lists in general; go deep, structure them well, and provide context for each item. The latter not only shows that you really made an effort, but also provides extra value to search engines.

Bonus Tip

8. Presentations and Slides

PowerPoint presentations are a tried-and-true way of conveying information to an audience. There’s a reason why you have to experience at least one of them at each business meeting. To make this handy, there are services like Slideshare to help you post this type of content on your blog.

How to Do It Right

The style of your presentation really depends on your audience and topic. However, your focus should always be to be both informative AND entertaining. Nothing turns off visitors more than boredom.

A case in point is this excellent Slideshare presentation by Upworthy on how things go viral. Watch it, and then don’t tell me you didn’t learn a ton and also got a chuckle here and there with that slide deck. That’s the way to go.

Another one of my favorite examples is the company culture manifesto of the makers of one of my favorite pieces of software, Buffer, which you can see here. It’s simple but powerful stuff that can potentially speak to a big cross-section of your audience.

Bonus Tip

Here are some links with tips on how to craft a compelling presentation:

9. Case Studies

Case studies are an ideal way to show off your service, product or content and how it’s helped others. It’s the ultimate proof that what you’re offering actually has merit.

How to Do It Right

This type of blog content works especially well if your advice or product has enabled someone to achieve exceptional results. For example, a while ago Backlinko published Content Strategy Case Study: 36,282 Readers + 1,000 Email Subscribers. Now who wouldn’t want to find out how to get that kind of result?

A good case study can be likened to an extremely detailed and focused how-to post. Describe the problem, the eventual outcome and then a step-by-step guide on how it was achieved. Talk about lessons learned on the way, give a conclusion and a call to action for your audience.

Bonus Tip

  • Be genuinely eager to help others achieve the success they want. Don’t be tempted to simply show off.
  • Create a storyline instead of just rattling off facts. Weave them into a narrative that others can relate to.

10. Videos

As you might have noticed, both Twitter and Facebook are becoming increasingly visual social platforms. The number of posted images and videos is climbing steadily. Combine that with the fact that YouTube is the second-largest search engine and you have a compelling reason to include videos in your content strategy.

How to Do It Right

Videos are a marvelous way to share information and communicate your website, blog, or business to the outside world. It’s easy to show off your personality, while also packing them chock full of information. Here’s one of my favorite examples of recent years.

Now, producing a professional video like the one above can cost a lot. There’s a lot of effort and manpower involved. Yet, there are ways to produce videos on the cheap. These days, most cell phones have decent cameras and there’s a pile free or affordable video editing software (such as Camtasia) out there.

You can experiment with different types of videos like screencasts, talking head (where you just talk into the camera) or explainer videos. Keep in mind that they don’t have to be long. In fact, the shorter and more to the point, the better. Plus, no need to host it on your own site. Put your video on YouTube or Vimeo, which will also send a positive social signal to Google.

Bonus Tip

  • When publishing videos on your site, give context with a short blog post or include a transcript.

11. Reviews

Reviewing books, products or services is another way to share valuable information with your audience. Discuss your favorite gadgets, the books that have taught you the most and how they can benefit your readers.

How to Do It Right

You’re free to choose the format of your review. However, at the least you should provide an introduction, share your likes and dislikes and conclude with whether or not your recommend whatever you’re talking about to others. In the case of book reviews, it’s also a good idea to summarize their main points. A call to action (“Buy it now on Amazon”) is something to consider including if it fits with your strategy.

Bonus Tip

  • A review can be complemented with a video.
  • If you use an affiliate program, reviews can also help bring in the cash with links to sellers.

12. Memes

Not sure what a Meme is? Rather than explain it here, take a quick look at this Wikipedia page.

Some people claim the Internet was created just to give rise to this type of content. Regardless of the truth in that statement, what is true is that memes let you communicate your point in a humorous way.

How to Do It Right

The great thing about this type of blog content is that memes cost nothing to make. Meme Generator and Quick Meme are just two of many sites that allow you to whip up a meme at a moment’s notice.

Memes are fun, get shared often, and can be adapted to almost any niche or industry. They’re a clever way to make a funny point, however, they’re not really made for communicating anything serious.

Memes aren’t blogging material on their own, but as you can see in my example above, they can be used to break up content with a joke. This type of content is also perfect for social outlets.

Bonus Tip

  • Make sure to do a little homework first. Different characters stand for certain ideas and have catchphrases attached to them. Spend some time studying memes first, otherwise your attempt might backfire.

13. Guides

Think of a guide as the more epic brother of the how-to post. They’re much bigger in scope, length, and visual delivery than simpler blog posts.

How to Do It Right

For a good example, look no further than Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO. Chock-full of useful information and presented in an awesome way, you can be sure that it rakes in a ton of traffic. I’ve linked to it in several of my articles. You can even download it as a PDF!

For your own guide, layout and presentation are just as important as content. Creating one is reason enough to enlist the help of a designer. This doesn’t mean you have to go all out like Moz did; however, a bit of extra effort goes a long way.

Bonus Tip

  • Providing your guide as a PDF download is an effective way to entice people to sign up for your email list.

14. E-books

If guides get people onto your list, think of what an entire book can do. Having a fantastic ebook to give away on your blog is an effective way to attract readers and subscribers.

How to Do It Right

Everything that’s valid for guides also goes for e-books — content and delivery have to go hand in hand. Structure is just as important; provide several chapters, nobody wants to read one big chunk of text.

Be aware that to give away an e-book, it doesn’t have to be a 100-plus-page tome. People have had great success with much fewer pages. Yet, don’t make it too short either, because that might instead telegraph it as low-value content.

Here are some handy links on the topic of e-book creation:

Bonus Tip

  • E-book creation can also be outsourced. Check eLances and Gurus for this kind of thing. It’s also possible to just outsource parts of the process, such as formatting and design.

15. Rants And Controversial Pieces

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.

– Winston Churchill

Well-researched and balanced articles are important. But, remember how everyone tells you to inject personality into your writing? Opinion pieces are ideal for that. Whether people agree, disagree or are just curious of your cantankerousness, the occasional rant is a good way to stir up engagement.

How to Do It Right

First of all, you need to make sure your piece is about a relevant and popular topic. Nobody cares if you’re mad about someone leaving dog poo in front of your house. However, if you voice your opinion on a topic on everyone else’s mind, ears will prick up.

It’s ok to take an unpopular position — it’s better than being a “me too” blogger. Pick something your are passionate about. Start a discussion. However, don’t argue for arguments sake.

Bonus Tip

  • Don’t overdo it. This type of blog content should be used sparingly and only when it makes sense. Don’t be THAT person (I’m looking at you Kanye).

16. Profiles

Most people have one (or several) role models. It’s natural to be inspired by others, to try to learn how they live the way they do, and to attempt to apply the same principles to our own lives. As a blogger, you can leverage this by profiling such inspirational people.

How to Do It Right

Find personalities (living or dead) that fit your niche and that your readers can identify with or would likely look up to. Then break down what they did, how they did it, and how others can do the same.

Here is an example structure for a good profile:

  • Introduce the person in question.
  • List their accomplishments and credentials.
  • Discuss their problems and setbacks and how they have overcome them.
  • Provide a conclusion with lessons to learn for your audience.

These two posts are good examples:

Bonus Tip

  • If you profile a living person, this type of content is even more powerful when combined with the next content type in our list (see below).

17. Interviews

Instead of learning about your role models, wouldn’t it be even better to learn directly from them? If you can pick the brain of an important figure in your field right on your blog, that’ll generate lots of respect in your industry.

How to Do It Right

Finding someone to interview is often less difficult than it seems. Most people are happy about the extra traffic and publicity. For example, listen to Jaime Tardy of the well-done Eventual Millionaire podcast on how she got to interview dozens of real-life millionaires. Then there is also Mixergy, a site entirely based on interviewing successful people.

One way of structuring an interview is like this:

  • Introduce the interviewee and highlight why they’re relevant to your niche.
  • Go down a list of prepared questions, giving the interviewee ample opportunity to answer.
  • Ask follow-up questions to interesting points that may arise during the interview.
  • Conclude the conversation by giving a quick recap of the main takeaways for your audience.

Bonus Tip

  • Create buzz on your blog beforehand. Ask your readers and your email list to send in questions for your next interview guest. That way, you get interesting material and involve your following.
  • Again, offering a transcript is a good idea for extra search value.

18. Guest posts

Creating high-quality content takes time. Time that you don’t always have. Luckily, there are plenty of people out there who would be more than happy to contribute to your blog for some exposure. Guest posting is an excellent alternative to fill your blog without having to do it all yourself.

How to Do It Right

Even if the bulk of the work is done by someone else, that doesn’t mean you can sit idly by — your duty is to oversee the process. That includes:

  • Setting up editorial guidelines
  • Reviewing the article and providing feedback
  • Making sure each post is original
  • Checking links in the article and author bio for spam
  • Scheduling guest posts in your editorial calendar

Bonus Tip

  • An added benefit of guest posting is that your guest blogger has a vested interest in promoting their work. This can lead to further exposure and fresh traffic.
  • Vet candidates thoroughly before accepting guest posts. Make sure they have a history of producing quality content that your own audience would love.

Summing Up: Content Can Be Extremely Varied

Using different types of content can help to engage readers, improve conversions, and ramp up your traffic. As can be seen from the list above, there are plenty of options available.

When deciding which kind of content to try out on your site, think about what would most resonate with your audience. In the end, everything you do should be aimed at serving them.

That said, don’t be afraid to experiment. You never know whether something might work or not if you don’t try.

What type of content works well for your site? Thoughts?

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By Nick Schäferhoff

Nick Schäferhoff is an entrepreneur, online marketer, and professional blogger from Germany. When not building websites, creating content or helping his clients improve their online business, he can most often be found at the gym, the dojo or traveling the world with his wife. You can get in touch with him via Twitter or through his website.
Comments (policy)
  • Thanks so much for mentioning my article in this write up – I really appreciate it.

    I still think the long form content is the one that does the best over the longterm even if it is a bit annoying to produce.

    Thanks again.

    Ramsay

    • Ramsay, no problem. Always happy to link to quality stuff. And I absolutely agree, writing longer articles is definitely a better long-term strategy.

      Keep up the good work.

      Nick

  • santina

    really good tips for someone who just started blogging as well!

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